#BookReview: Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica (translated by Sarah Moses) @PushkinPress #TenderIsTheFlesh #damppebbles

tender is the flesh.jpg“It all happened so quickly. First, animals became infected with the virus and their meat became poisonous. Then, governments initiated the Transition. Now, ‘special meat’ – human meat – is legal.

Marcos is in the business of slaughtering humans only no one calls them that. He works with numbers, consignments, processing. One day, he’s given a gift to seal a deal: a specimen of the finest quality. He leaves her in his barn, tied up, a problem to be disposed of later.

But the specimen haunts Marcos. Her trembling body, her eyes that watch him, that seem to understand. And soon, he becomes tortured by what has been lost – and what might still be saved…”

Hello and welcome to damppebbles. Today I am thrilled to be sharing my review of one of the most hypnotic books I have read in a long, long time with you. I saw Tender is the Flesh mentioned a couple of times on Twitter and it instantly got it’s (meat) hooks into me. I couldn’t help myself and pre-ordered the book immediately. This is the type of fiction I love; brutal, powerful and thought-provoking.

I should probably mention at this point that I read this book as soon as it was published (a few months ago) and the fact that a virus infects the World’s animals seemed, at the time, to be nothing more than fiction. Anything involving a virus these days has a slightly different…perspective (?) to it, but I know I would still have read this book and still loved it as much as I do. Because it’s a bloody awesome book and if you’ve got a strong stomach and like the darker side of fiction then this is a must read!

So the big question here is…would you? Would you eat human flesh if that was the only available meat for you to consume? It’s unthinkable, right? Tender is the Flesh makes the reader ask themselves some pretty hefty questions and looks at the situation from some very interesting angles. To put things into context, the humans on the menu aren’t like you or I. They’re bred, farmed and processed the same way livestock is. They’re nameless, they’re nothing but protein. But….but…but…they’re still people, right? And that’s the brilliant hook which this stonking piece of fiction rests on. It’s absolutely impossible to comprehend. But that’s exactly what pulled me into the pages of this incredible book.

Marcos works at the local processing plant. The reader discovers that after so many years of watching and partaking in horrifically violent acts that Marcos has become somewhat desensitised to the brutality of it all. He’s a heavily flawed character, having recently separated from his wife, but I found myself warming to him as the story progressed. When an illegal gift on a Female FGP (First General Pure) is delivered to his house, he doesn’t know what to do with it (her!).

This really is an eye opener of a book and I devoured it (pun intended). I was nearing the end of the novel and I couldn’t for the life of me work out where the author was going to take things, how it was all going to be wrapped up. But it’s absolutely perfect and as a result, this book will stay with me for a long time to come. I expect it will feature in my top books of the year list.

Would I recommend this book? I would, most definitely, but it’s not going to be for everyone. It’s savage, brave, unsettling and utterly unflinching fiction at it’s very best. The way the ‘special meat’ is treated is inhumane and stomach churning and makes me question the way livestock is treated. Vegetarianism could be the way forward for me following this novel! If you’re looking for a book which is dark, disturbing and wholly involving then this is it. Bazterrica does not spare her reader and I absolutely loved it! Highly recommended. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you…

Tender Is The Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica was published in the UK by Pushkin Press on 6th February 2020 and is available in digital format. Paperback copies are available via Waterstones, Foyles and Book Depository (please note, the following links are affiliate links which mean I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.uk | WaterstonesFoyles | Book DepositoryGoodreads |

about-the-author3

Agustina Bazterrica is an Argentinian novelist and short-story writer. She is a central figure in the Buenos Aires literary scene, co-curating the event series ‘Siga al Conejo Blanco’ and coordinating reading workshops. She has received several awards for her writing, most notably the prestigious Premio Clarín Novela for her second novel, Tender is the Flesh, which has sold in eight languages.

#BookReview: Afraid Of The Light – Crime Fiction Anthology in aid of the Samaritans | #AfraidOfTheLight #Samaritans #damppebbles @NolanDom

afriad of the light.jpg“Some people are scared of the dark. But it’s the light that exposes the secrets.

A young boy with nightmares faces up to his demons. A deathbed confession turns the world on its axis. A five-year-old watches his parents bury a body in the garden. A soldier returns from the war to find the horror isn’t yet over.

Afraid Of The Light brings the imagination of fourteen bestselling crime writers together in a collection that will keep you up all night. From a deadly campfire game to a holiday gone wrong, to an AI assistant with a motive and a love affair that can only end in murder, this is a gripping, twisty set of stories to send a shiver down your spine.

“The stories are wildly entertaining in their own right, but they also address the concerns and fears we all feel: isolation and loneliness; guilt and grief; justice and punishment. And perhaps most importantly of all: redemption and hope.” — Alex North”

Hello my bookish friends and welcome to Friday on damppebbles. I am absolutely delighted to be sharing my review of a very special book with you today. It’s no secret that I spend my life on Twitter. I think I may have mentioned that before. So when I saw a tweet from brilliant author, Clare Empson, asking for crime fiction bloggers (that’s me!) to read a hot new crime anthology – featuring 14 bestselling authors and with a foreword by Alex North – all in aid of the Samaritans, I couldn’t resist the call! I wanted ‘in’. And oh my goodness, I’m so glad I did! This is a gripping collection of shorts from some of the best writers out there and I couldn’t put it down. I received a free eARC of Afraid Of The Light but that has in no way influenced my review. (But I’ve since purchased a copy because it’s only 99p at the moment and all proceeds go to the Samaritans.)

I do enjoy a short story collection. They’re easy to read alongside a full length novel, and rarely do I finish one in one sitting. That was my plan when reading Afraid Of The Light. To dip in and out of the book over the course of a week or so. That was the plan. The plan was deeply flawed. Little did I know, when I picked this book up on a lazy Saturday afternoon during lockdown, that it was absolutely impossible to put down and I’d have it read in a few hours. This is an absolutely brilliant and engaging collection of devilish stories from some of the best crime writers out there. Some I’ve read before, some whose books are on my TBR and some I’ve wanted to read for a while.

I won’t pick a favourite as that’s actually really hard to do (because they’re all excellent) but standout reads for me were Adam Southward’s ARE YOU LISTENING?, which is the first story in the book and sets a high benchmark along with the tone for the rest of the collection. Dominic Nolan’s DADDY DEAREST, which had me wondering where the story was going only to drop a pretty hefty bombshell. And Heather Critchlow’s DROWNING IN DEBT,  which has the most wonderfully satisfying ending. Other firm favourites include; SHEEP’S CLOTHING by Robert Scragg, which leads the reader down one path only to provide the most beautiful and well written twist. This one left me reeling a little! Jo Furniss’s TO EVIL OR NOT TO EVIL shows us a futuristic world where your thoughts and feelings are on display to all and it’s not only the people in your life you need to watch.

Would I recommend this book? Most definitely. I thoroughly enjoyed Afraid Of The Light and will be recommending it to everyone. There’s not a single dud in the collection and I couldn’t help but lose myself in this wonderful book. All of the stories offer something new and if you haven’t read any of the contributing authors work before, then here’s a perfect opportunity to get a sampler AND make a small donation to a wonderful charity which does so much for so many. Highly recommended.

I chose to read and review an eARC of Afraid Of The Light. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

Afraid Of The Light was published in the UK on 21st April 2020 and is available in paperback and digital formats: | amazon.co.uk | amazon.comGoodreads |

CONTRIBUTORS
Are you Listening? – Adam Southward
Daddy Dearest – Dominic Nolan
Deathbed, Beth Dead – Elle Croft
Loveable Alan Atcliffe – S R Masters
Sleep Time – Phoebe Morgan
Coming Home – N J Mackay
Sausage Fingers – Victoria Selman
Just a Game – Rachael Blok
Drowning in Debt – Heather Critchlow
To Evil or Not to Evil – Jo Furniss
Sheep’s Clothing – Robert Scragg
Frantic – Clare Empson
Planting Nan – James Delargy
Shadow – Kate Simants

All author royalties from the sale of this anthology will be donated to the Samaritans.

Samaritans is a charity working across the UK and Ireland to reduce the number of people who take their own lives and help people who are struggling to cope with how they’re feeling or with life’s challenges. When life is difficult, Samaritans are here – day or night, 365 days a year.

You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at jo@samaritans.org, or visit http://www.samaritans.org to find your nearest branch.

Twitter-Out-Now

#BlogTour | #BookReview: We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #WeBeginattheEnd #damppebbles

We Begin at the End.jpg“‘YOU CAN’T SAVE SOMEONE THAT DOESN’T WANT TO BE SAVED . . .’

Thirty years ago, Vincent King became a killer.

Now, he’s been released from prison and is back in his hometown of Cape Haven, California. Not everyone is pleased to see him. Like Star Radley, his ex-girlfriend, and sister of the girl he killed.

Duchess Radley, Star’s thirteen-year-old daughter, is part-carer, part-protector to her younger brother, Robin – and to her deeply troubled mother. But in trying to protect Star, Duchess inadvertently sets off a chain of events that will have tragic consequences not only for her family, but also the whole town.

Murder, revenge, retribution.

How far can we run from the past when the past seems doomed to repeat itself?”

The warmest of welcomes to the blog today and to my stop on the We Begin at the End blog tour. We Begin at the End is the highly anticipated new release from Chris Whitaker and was published by Zaffre Books in hardcover on 2nd April. The paperback is set to follow in October. I received a free eARC of We Begin at the End but that has in no way influenced my review.

We Begin at the End is the most beautiful, captivating and exquisite book I have ever read. My heart broke. I cried big, ugly, snotty tears and I was left wanting to relive the whole experience, from beginning to end, again. This is a stunning piece of fiction and if you don’t read it for yourself then you’ll never know exactly how astonishing it is. Hell, if this book doesn’t make it to the top of my best books of 2020 then we have been blessed with some truly incredible books this year.

The outlaw, Duchess Day Radley. The most perfect character to grace crime fiction. At only 13 years of age she has the guts and the intelligence to do things most adults wouldn’t dream of. But she’s also a 13 year old hot-headed kid who makes some pretty catastrophic mistakes. I adored her. I finished We Begin at the End a few weeks ago now but Duchess remains with me still. Her mother, Star, repeatedly tries and fails to be a good mom to her two kids. Which means Duchess has to step up and take charge. It’s heart-breaking stuff, hence the big, fat, ugly tears. Duchess’s relationship with her younger brother, Robin, was so touching, so beautiful. She’s his protector, she looks out for him because their mother can’t and does such an admirable job that every scene involving the pair of them tugged at my heart strings. When a caring, responsible adult eventually enters their lives in the form of their grandfather, it’s an absolute joy to watch six-year-old Robin blossom. Duchess’s wariness and her slow thaw towards grandfather Hal just made me admire her even more. But some people just aren’t destined to find happiness and history has an unfortunate knack of repeating itself…

Before I go any further with this review I must mention Chief Walker, or Walk as he’s known to the locals. Tragedy struck Cape Haven 30 years ago when Sissy Radley, sister to Star, was killed. Walk, who even then had aspirations to become the local police chief, was part of the search party. Walk’s best friend, Vincent King, was accused of Sissy’s murder. But Walk never gave up on Vincent and now, thirty years later, Vincent is due to be released from jail. And I think that tells you everything you need to know about Walk. Another beautifully drawn character who leaps from the pages of the book and into the reader’s mind. When tragedy hits Cape Haven for a second time, Walk is pushed to the sidelines of the investigation. Before long, he decides that if the truth is to be found, then he’s the man to uncover it. Such compelling reading and I lived every. single. moment.

Would I recommend this book? This book is perfection. I will be driving people crazy recommending We Begin at the End to them. It ticks so many boxes for me; set in small town America – tick, full of the most enchanting and interesting characters – tick, a devilish mystery at it’s heart – tick, leaves me with the biggest emotional bookish hangover – tick. This book is a masterpiece and if you only buy one book this year based on my reviews then please, PLEASE make it this one. I really wish I had the words to convey what a stunning book this is. Absolutely outstanding.

I chose to read and review an eARC of We Begin at the End. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker was published in the UK by Zaffre Books on 2nd April 2020 and is available in hardcover, digital and audio formats (please note, the following links are affiliate links which mean I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.uk | WaterstonesFoylesBook DepositoryGoodreads |

Chris Whitaker

about-the-author3

chris whitakerChris Whitaker was born in London and spent ten years working as a financial trader in the city. His debut novel, Tall Oaks, won the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger. Chris’s second novel, All The Wicked Girls, was published in August 2017. He lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and two young sons.

Author Links: | Twitter |

#BookReview: Wilderness by B.E. Jones (@bevjoneswriting) @LittleBrownUK @TheCrimeVault #Wilderness #damppebbles

Wilderness_25

It’s easy to die out there. It’s easy to kill too.

Two weeks, 1,500 miles, three opportunities for her husband to save his own life.

It isn’t about his survival – it’s about hers.

Shattered by the discovery of her husband’s affair, Liv knows they need to leave the chaos of New York to try to save their marriage. Maybe the roadtrip that they’d always planned, exploring America’s national parks, just the two of them, would help heal the wounds.

But what Liv hasn’t told her husband is that she has set him three challenges. Three opportunities to prove he’s really sorry and worthy of her forgiveness.

If he fails? Well, it’s dangerous out there. There are so many ways to die in the wilderness. And if it’s easy to die, then it’s easy to kill too.”

Hello and a very warm welcome to damppebbles. I am delighted to be sharing my review of one of my very favourite reads from 2019 with you today – the absolutely brilliant WILDERNESS by B.E. Jones. Wilderness sailed into my top ten(ish) books of the year with ease, and I still can’t stop talking to people about it (when I get to see them that is, which isn’t often at the moment!). Wilderness is on the brink of being published in paperback so I’m shouting louder than ever! It really gets under your skin and I LOVE it! We may not be able to leave the house at the moment but that doesn’t mean we can’t travel to the National Parks in the US with Liv and Will, and see if Will manages to save his marriage…..and his life!

Here’s my review:

I received a free eARC of Wilderness but that has in no way influenced my review.

I loved this book. It’s the first book I’ve read by B.E. Jones but I can safely say that it won’t be the last. Boy, can this author write a dark and dangerous character! If you’re a regular visitor to the blog then you will know that I am a sucker for characters. The plot and the setting (which are both brilliant in this novel, by the way) can be ‘okay’ providing the characters stand tall and leap from the page. I want living breathing people who make me feel something – that’s not asking too much, is it? Wilderness is a cracking example of exactly how to write incredible, believable characters and also tick the all-important plot and setting boxes with confidence and flair! I absolutely loved Liv. I’m still not entirely sure I was supposed to love her as she’s very much a character on the edge. But hey, I do like a dark undertone and it’s often the more complex creations who appeal to me more!

Liv and her husband, Will, are living the dream. Following Will’s promotion, they up-sticks from picturesque Wales and move to the hustle and bustle of New York City. Everything is perfect…until Liv discovers that her husband has been unfaithful with a colleague. Will apologies for his error of judgement and promises it will never happen again. And then it does. Liv is utterly heartbroken and enraged by the deceit and immediately starts to plan her revenge. One ‘dream’ holiday to America’s national parks and three chances for Will to prove he’s sorry. If he fails, well…..sometimes terrible accidents happen in the wilderness, don’t they?

The plot, the characters, the setting, the cover, the blurb – I loved absolutely everything about this book. It’s very likely it will feature in my top 10 books of the year list in December. Liv is pushed to her absolute limit – the repercussions of which were fascinating to watch. I couldn’t look away as she slowly unravelled before my eyes and I HAD to find out how the story would end. It’s not often I wish for a happy ending in my books but I was desperate for life to turn out OK for Liv. Does it? Well, you’ll have to get hold of a copy of Wilderness and find out for yourself.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely. It’s one that shouldn’t be missed and the perfect Summer holiday read partly due to the fabulous setting (maybe not the murders!). Speaking of the setting, I loved how the author conveyed the stark contrast between the two locations in the US. You have the wide open space of the national parks versus the built up and somewhat claustrophobic feeling of New York City. It’s all so beautifully written that you can’t help but ‘live’ the locations with the characters. An absolute joy to read! Highly recommended.

I chose to read and review an eARC of Wilderness. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

Wilderness by B.E. Jones was published by in the UK by Constable on 4th April and is available in paperback, audio and digital formats (please note, some of the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | BookDepository | Goodreads |

about-the-author3

photo of Bev

Beverley Jones was born in the Rhondda Valleys, South Wales, and started her ‘life of crime’ as a reporter on The Western Mail before moving into TV news with BBC Wales Today.

She covered all aspects of crime reporting before switching sides as a press officer for South Wales police, dealing with the media in criminal investigations, security operations and emergency planning.

Now a freelance writer she channels these experiences of ‘true crime,’ and the murkier side of human nature, into her dark, psychological thrillers set in and around South Wales.

Wilderness, her sixth crime novel follows the release of Halfway by Little Brown in 2018.

Bev’s previous releases, Where She Went, The Lies You Tell, Make Him Pay and Fear The Dark are also available from Little Brown as e books.

Author Links: | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website |

#R3COMM3ND3D2019 The After Show Party #BookBlogger #Author #Publishedin2019 #MustReadBooks #damppebbles #BookRecommendations #amreading #amreviewing

Slightly later than planned but here it is….

The #R3COMM3ND3D2019 After Show Party

If you’re new to the blog you may be wondering what #R3COMM3ND3D is, so allow me to explain. It’s about sharing the book love. It’s a chance for authors and book bloggers to shout about three (yes, *only* three) books they love. They can be written by any author, in any genre and published in any way (traditionally, indie press or self-published). But there is a catch. All three books must have been published in 2019.

#R3COMM3ND3D2019 started with a bang on 1st November and 56 posts later, finished on 30th December. And I loved every minute of it. A huge heartfelt thank you to everyone who took part, shared the #R3COMM3ND3D2019 book love, commented on the posts, retweeted or liked all things #R3COMM3ND3D2019 over on Facebook or Twitter. The 2019 edition was bigger than ever with more individual picks than in 2018 where SIX books came top with four votes each. This year there was one clear winner which received four votes making it the #R3COMM3ND3D2019 book of the year! But I won’t reveal which book that is just yet…

First, let’s gaze upon the beautiful #R3COMM3ND3D2019 covers in all their splendiferous glory. Aren’t they beautiful?! 😍🥰

A thing of beauty, I’m sure you will agree. If you took part in #R3COMM3ND3D2019 and the book(s) you chose aren’t here then please get in touch.

But let’s talk winners. There were NINE books with two votes each. They were…

There were two books with three votes each…

I am delighted to reveal the most recommended #R3COMM3ND3D2019 book with four votes is….

my lovely wife

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

Congratulations to Samantha and the team at Penguin Books!

Have YOU read My Lovely Wife? What about the other top books of the year? How many do you have on your TBR?

We shouldn’t be wishing the year away but I cannot wait for #R3COMM3ND3D2020 to start on 1st November! The sign-up form will be available from June onwards so start making a note of those 2020 releases now 😉.

Once again. the biggest of thanks to all of the book bloggers and authors who took part in #R3COMM3ND3D2019 and whittled their favourite reads down to three (an impossible task, I know!). You make #R3COMM3ND3D such a fun feature to run ❤️.

#R3COMM3ND3D2019 with #BookBlogger Eva (@noveldeelights) #NovelDeelights #damppebbles #BookRecommendations #Publishedin2019

Happy Monday! I think it’s Monday anyway. I’m going to run with it until told otherwise, lol! In truth, it could be ANY day of the week post-Christmas. I hope you had a good weekend and that you have exciting plans in store for the week ahead. Today is a little special for me. Today is the last #R3COMM3ND3D post of 2019. It’s been an absolute joy to share the top book picks of 56 book bloggers and authors with you every day since 1st November. A joy and utterly exhausting. But worth it. Well worth it. Today’s #R3COMM3ND3D2019 is the fifty-seventh post and I’ve saved one of the best until last…

I’ve also saved her until last because a) she told me back in November that it was too early to be thinking about top reads of the year and b) because once this blogger submits her #R3COMM3ND3D three to me she has been known to change her mind. More than once…. Joining me on the final #R3COMM3ND3D is the fabulous Eva of Novel Deelights. Eva is a brilliant blogger and if you don’t already follow her blog then that must change. You won’t regret it!

So, what is #R3COMM3ND3D2019? It’s about sharing the book love. It’s a chance for authors and book bloggers to shout about three (yes, *only* three) books they love. They can be written by any author, in any genre and published in any way (traditionally, indie press or self-published). But there is a catch. All three books must have been published in 2019. To make things interesting I have added a couple of teeny, tiny rules this year which are; 1) the book must have first been published in 2019 and 2) special editions and reissues do not count. I like to keep you lovely people on your toes. 😉

Here are the three books Eva recommends…

the whisper man

The Whisper Man by Alex North
The Whisper Man is the kind of book any crime thriller fan dreams of. It made my skin crawl, it’s sometimes heartbreaking, it’s dark and twisty and just mind-blowingly fabulous!
Eva’s Review of The Whisper Man

the taking of annie thorne

The Taking of Annie Thorne by C.J. Tudor
Whatever “it” is, C.J. Tudor has it in abundance and then some. There’s something about the way she writes that has me captivated from the very first word. It almost feels like being under a spell and I’ll gladly let her guide me wherever it is she wants to take me. I’m a fan, what more can I say?
Eva’s Review of The Taking of Annie Thorne

the sleepwalker.jpg

The Sleepwalker (Aiden Watts #3) by Joseph Knox
This series is one I’ve been with from the beginning. In fact, Sirens was the book that first made me start thinking about blogging because I needed a place to shout about its awesomeness. Since then, Joseph Knox has been raising the bar, with each book being even stronger than the previous one. Like its predecessors, The Sleepwalker is masterfully plotted, immensely dark, extremely gritty and completely engrossing from start to finish. This series quite frankly NEEDS to be on any crime fiction fan’s bookshelf.
Eva’s Review of The Sleepwalker

Thanks so much, Eva. Brilliant choices and two of my favourite books published this year. The other one, I am ashamed to admit, I haven’t gotten around to reading yet *hangs head in shame*.

If Eva has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends, please see the following links:

The Whisper Man by Alex North
The Taking of Annie Thorne by C.J. Tudor
The Sleepwalker by Joseph Knox

About Eva:
My name is Eva and I’m a bookaholic. I also really like white wine and boots. Not necessarily in that order.

Eva’s Blog and Social Media Links:
Novel Deelights | Twitter @noveldeelights | Facebook | Instagram @noveldeelights |

So that’s it for another year! Thank you so much for either taking part or for your support in a myriad of other ways. Thanks for the comments, the shares, the likes and the retweets. YOU make #R3COMM3ND3D special ❤️. I hope you’ve found a book (or five!) to add to your TBR.

#R3COMM3ND3D will return next year in the form of #R3COMM3ND3D2020 so start making a note of any cracking 2020 releases now and keep an eye out for the sign-up form from June onwards.

I’m off for a loooooooooong lie down now but I’ll be back tomorrow with my top ten(ish) books of the year. I’ll also be posting a #R3COMM3ND3D2019 After-Show Party post in early January where I will reveal the one (SINGLE, UNO, SOLITARY, SOLE) winner. If you were around for 2018s reveal you may remember that we had SIX winners but only one book has taken the crown this year! What will it be….? I can’t wait to share the result with you (along with all of those beautiful covers!).

#R3COMM3ND3D2019 with #BookBlogger Joy Kluver (@JoyKluver) #JoyKluver #damppebbles #BookRecommendations #Publishedin2019

Hello book friends and welcome to the penultimate #R3COMM3ND3D2019! Today I am delighted to welcome a fabulous book blogger to share three of their favourite 2019 book releases with us – the fantastic Joy Kluver who blogs over at Joy Kluver. Today is not only four days after Christmas, not only is it the last Sunday of 2019, it’s also Joy’s BIRTHDAY! Happy birthday, Joy. I hope you have a wonderful day. Give Joy’s blog a follow if you don’t already – you won’t regret it!

So, what is #R3COMM3ND3D2019? It’s about sharing the book love. It’s a chance for authors and book bloggers to shout about three (yes, *only* three) books they love. They can be written by any author, in any genre and published in any way (traditionally, indie press or self-published). But there is a catch. All three books must have been published in 2019. To make things interesting I have added a couple of teeny, tiny rules this year which are; 1) the book must have first been published in 2019 and 2) special editions and reissues do not count. I like to keep you lovely people on your toes. 😉

Here are the three books Joy recommends…

call me star girl

Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech
This book took my breath away. Told in various viewpoints and timelines, the radio station scenes had me totally gripped as we counted down to the end of the story.
Joy’s Review of Call Me Star Girl

blood song

Blood Song (Roy & Castells #3) by Johana Gustawsson
This is such an emotive story. Johana’s portrayal of the treatment of Republican women and children during Franco’s reign is devastating but she restores dignity to those who suffered.
Joy’s Review of Blood Song

the neighbour.jpg

The Neighbour by Fiona Cummins
Fiona has been runner-up in my top ten reads for the last two years. But this year The Neighbour hits the top. Told through various viewpoints, this creepy and complex story is just extraordinary.
Joy’s Review of The Neighbour

Excellent choices, thanks Joy. I adored Blood Song and I cannot wait to read your other two recommendations soon.

If Joy has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends, please see the following links:

Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech
Blood Song by Johana Gustawsson
The Neighbour by Fiona Cummins

About Joy:
Escaping the madness of motherhood through reading and writing crime novels.

Joy’s Blog and Social Media Links:
| Joy Kluver | Twitter @JoyKluver |

#R3COMM3ND3D2019 is now closed. Fifty-seven brilliant book bloggers and authors have shared three of their favourite 2019 books with us (posts will be running until 30th December). I hope you’ve found a book (or five!) to add to your TBR. #R3COMM3ND3D will return next year in the form of #R3COMM3ND3D2020 so start making a note of any cracking 2020 releases now and keep an eye out for the sign-up form from June onwards. Thank so much to everyone who has taken part, shared, retweeted and generally supported the feature. YOU make it something special ❤️

#R3COMM3ND3D2019 with #BookBlogger Read and Rated (@ReadandRated) #ReadandRated #damppebbles #BookRecommendations #Publishedin2019

Hello and happy Saturday! Or are you like me and you’ve totally lost track of what day of the week it is?! I hope you have a relaxing book-filled weekend and of course, it’s the last weekend of 2019! Today also marks the fifty-fifth #R3COMM3ND3D2019 post of the year and I only have two posts to share after today.

I am delighted to welcome another brilliant blogger to share their three #R3COMM3ND3D2019 picks with us today. I discovered the awesome Read and Rated earlier this year and it’s quickly become one of my favourite blogs. If you don’t follow already then head on over and say hello!

So, what is #R3COMM3ND3D2019? It’s about sharing the book love. It’s a chance for authors and book bloggers to shout about three (yes, *only* three) books they love. They can be written by any author, in any genre and published in any way (traditionally, indie press or self-published). But there is a catch. All three books must have been published in 2019. To make things interesting I have added a couple of teeny, tiny rules this year which are; 1) the book must have first been published in 2019 and 2) special editions and reissues do not count. I like to keep you lovely people on your toes. 😉

Here are the three books Read and Rated recommends we read…

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The Perfect Betrayal by Lauren North
Such a sensitive portrayal of grief, so cleverly written and a well constructed story – like watching a car crash unfold in slow motion!
Read and Rated’s Review of The Perfect Betrayal

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Closer Than Blood (Gareth Bell Thriller #2) by Paul Grzegorzek
I was blown away when I read this – I felt a real buzz of excitement, similar to when I first discovered Simon Kernick. I have great hopes for Paul Grzegorzek.
Read and Rated’s Review of Closer Than Blood

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A Litter of Bones (DCI Logan Crime Thriller #1) by JD Kirk
Absolutely loved this debut novel, it was superb and if I didn’t know better I would have assumed it was a Stuart MacBride book! So if you are a fan of Mr MacBride then I expect you will love A Litter of Bones.
Read and Rated’s Review of A Litter of Bones

Thanks so much! I love the sound of these three books so they are all going on the wishlist.

If Read and Rated have managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books they recommend, please see the following links:

The Perfect Betrayal by Lauren North
Closer Than Blood by Paul Grzegorzek
A Litter of Bones by JD Kirk

About Read and Rated:
Read and Rated – where all good books come to be reviewed! Crime and psychological thrillers are my favourite. I am an irrational dreamer, a lazy romantic and can often be found talking to animals. Book reviews at http://Readandrated.com #bookblogger #amreading #bookreview #netgalley #OU Law student

Read and Rated’s Blog and Social Media Links:
Read and RatedTwitter @ReadandRatedFacebookTwitter @CoffeeCurls |

#R3COMM3ND3D2019 is now closed. Fifty-seven brilliant book bloggers and authors have shared three of their favourite 2019 books with us (posts will be running until 30th December). I hope you’ve found a book (or five!) to add to your TBR. #R3COMM3ND3D will return next year in the form of #R3COMM3ND3D2020 so start making a note of any cracking 2020 releases now and keep an eye out for the sign-up form from June onwards. Thank so much to everyone who has taken part, shared, retweeted and generally supported the feature. YOU make it something special ❤️

 

#R3COMM3ND3D2019 with #BookBlogger Sue Purbrick (@Suidi_books) #SuidisBookReviews #damppebbles #BookRecommendations #Publishedin2019

Hello book fans. It’s so good to see you – I’ve missed you. How was your Christmas? I hope the holidays are turning out to be everything you hoped they would be. Did you get any books? Of course you did! We’re into the final few days of #R3COMM3ND3D2019 now with only three posts left after today. Currently, we have two books vying for the top spot with three votes each. I can’t wait to see which books come out on top!

Today, for the fifty-fourth #R3COMM3ND3D2019 of the year, I am delighted to welcome brilliant blogger, Sue Purbrick. Sue blogs over at Suidi’s Book Reviews and if you don’t already follow her blog then I heartily recommend you change that RIGHT NOW. I can promise you won’t be sorry.

So, what is #R3COMM3ND3D2019? It’s about sharing the book love. It’s a chance for authors and book bloggers to shout about three (yes, *only* three) books they love. They can be written by any author, in any genre and published in any way (traditionally, indie press or self-published). But there is a catch. All three books must have been published in 2019. To make things interesting I have added a couple of teeny, tiny rules this year which are; 1) the book must have first been published in 2019 and 2) special editions and reissues do not count. I like to keep you lovely people on your toes. 😉

Here are the three books Sue recommends…

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Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver
Nothing Important Happened Today is a fascinating history of cults and serial killers. It’s also a treatise on the current ills of our society as well as modern-day fears and malaise. But above all it’s an excellent, amazingly sophisticated psychological thriller.
Sue’s Review of Nothing Important Happened Today

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Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce
A cracking good story that grabbed me right from its powerful opening and pulled me along on a glorious ride. Pacey and compelling.

my lovely wife

My Lovely Wife by Samatha Downing
Samantha Downing kept me totally hooked. She writes believable everyday characters who do unbelievably ghastly things. The book is twisty, nasty, dark, compelling and utterly riveting.
Sue’s Review of My Lovely Wife

Thanks so much, Sue. Two of your recommendations are on the TBR already (I cannot wait to read them but oh boy, I need to get over this reading slump first) and the other book I’ve read. Plus this is the fourth time My Lovely Wife has been chosen which puts it firmly in the lead at the moment…

If Sue has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends, please see the following links:

Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver
Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce
My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

About Sue:
I live in Johannesburg, South Africa, and am obsessed with books, cycling and travel. I’ve been blogging for about three years now, inspired by my membership of THE Book Club (TBC), the wonderful, amazing Facebook book club made up of a bunch of crazy, hugely interactive readers and authors who share their recommendations, humour and obsessions. I work full-time so my blogging is irregular at best and I have huge admiration for my fellow bloggers whose amazing reviews grace my inbox every single day, sometimes more than once.

Sue’s Blog and Social Media Links:
| Suidi’s Book Reviews | Twitter @Suidi_books |

#R3COMM3ND3D2019 is now closed. Fifty-seven brilliant book bloggers and authors have shared three of their favourite 2019 books with us (posts will be running until 30th December). I hope you’ve found a book (or five!) to add to your TBR. #R3COMM3ND3D will return next year in the form of #R3COMM3ND3D2020 so start making a note of any cracking 2020 releases now and keep an eye out for the sign-up form from June onwards. Thanks so much to everyone who has taken part, shared, retweeted, commented and generally supported the feature. YOU make it something special ❤️

#R3COMM3ND3D2019 with #BookBlogger Julie Morris (@book_problem) #ALittleBookProblem #damppebbles #BookRecommendations #Publishedin2019

Hello and welcome to the last #R3COMM3ND3D2019 post before Christmas. As in previous years, #R3COMM3ND3D and I will be taking a short break over the next three days, only to return on the 27th with even more brilliant book recommendations. As this is my last post before Christmas I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. I hope your festive break is exactly what you want it to be. I also hope you get to spend some quality time with a good book too 😉.

Today I am delighted to welcome a brilliant blogger to share three of her favourite books from 2019 with us. The warmest of welcomes to the very lovely Julie Morris of A Little Book Problem. Julie’s blog is a treasure trove of beautiful books and fantastic reviews. I strongly recommend that you give her blog a follow if you don’t already.

So, what is #R3COMM3ND3D2019? It’s about sharing the book love. It’s a chance for authors and book bloggers to shout about three (yes, *only* three) books they love. They can be written by any author, in any genre and published in any way (traditionally, indie press or self-published). But there is a catch. All three books must have been published in 2019. To make things interesting I have added a couple of teeny, tiny rules this year which are; 1) the book must have first been published in 2019 and 2) special editions and reissues do not count. I like to keep you lovely people on your toes.

Here are the three books Julie recommends…

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The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker by Jenni Keer
This book is just a gorgeous warm, cashmere hug of a book that will leave your heart filled with song and your eyes filled with tears. The story of a beautiful friendship between two unlikely souls who find each other just when they need each other. Happiness and joy in book form, I loved it.
Julie’s Review of The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker

call me star girl

Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech
Intricately plotted, beautifully atmospheric, complex, thought-provoking, shocking, emotive – I’ve run out of adjectives to describe this taut, psychological thriller by Louise Beech. Multi-layered and nuanced, she raises the genre above and beyond what we’ve come to expect. This book is stunning.
Julie’s Review of Call Me Star Girl

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The Magic Carpet by Jessica Norrie
This is a book that hasn’t had as much exposure as it surely deserves and I really wanted to shine the spotlight on it again because it was so beautifully written, so moving and so very relevant to today’s society. It is one of those gems that just fall into your lap and you rejoice in having discovered it, and I really want it to reach a wider audience.
Julie’s Review of The Magic Carpet

Three excellent choices, thanks so much Julie. I have a signed copy of Call Me Star Girl waiting for me on my bookshelf and I cannot wait to read it!

If Julie has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends, please see the following links:

The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker by Jenni Keer
Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech
The Magic Carpet by Jessica Norrie

About Julie:
Writer. Blogger. Book hoarder. Mum. Ex-lawyer. Eternal optimist. Travel junkie. Plant killer. Owl lover.

Julie’s Blog and Social Media Links:
| A Little Book Problem | Twitter @book_problem | Facebook | Instagram @alittlebookproblem |

#R3COMM3ND3D2019 is now closed. Fifty-seven brilliant book bloggers and authors have shared three of their favourite 2019 books with us (posts will be running until 30th December). I hope you’ve found a book (or five!) to add to your TBR. #R3COMM3ND3D will return next year in the form of #R3COMM3ND3D2020 so start making a note of any cracking 2020 releases now and keep an eye out for the sign-up form from June onwards. Thanks so much to everyone who has taken part, shared, retweeted, commented and generally supported the feature. YOU make it something special ❤️